Albuquerque man will get seventh DWI

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man whose history of drunk driving dates back to the 1980s was blown up again this time when he passed out behind the wheel. New police video shows his efforts to convince the police that he did nothing wrong and how his actions have proven otherwise.

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“How did your vehicle crash into that concrete barrier?” An Albuquerque police officer is heard asking driver Stephen Casias.

A security guard in the area had called the police after he passed out Casias from behind the wheel of a red SUV that hit a concrete barrier near Central and Juan Tabo.

“They saw you in the passed out vehicle. And your car was in motion and it looks like it is still in motion, ”said the officer.

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But Casias denied ever sitting in the driver’s seat. “I didn’t do that,” he said.

“I don’t know if you even saw the damage to your SUV,” replied the officer.

Casias stumbled when he looked at the front of the SUV and then told officers he did not want to take the field sobriety test.

“You don’t want to take the sobriety tests because you’re going to fail?” asked the officer.

“Yes sir,” Casias replied.

Then Casias finally admitted he was under the influence. “I just want you to know that these are illegal drugs,” he said.

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The officer then asked Casias how much he needed to drink before finally handcuffing him. “I’m just asking how much?” asked the officer.

“Too much,” said Casias.

Linda Atkinson of the DWI Resource Center said getting repeat offenders off the streets is a matter of improving criminal justice reform, like offering treatment.

“We are wasting so many resources that law enforcement are making the arrests and trying to prevent the crashes, and yet there are still high repetition criminals out there,” Atkinson said.

In the Prisoner Transport Center, the reverse video shows Casias falling over while trying to sit down. The officer called an ambulance.

Casias is charged with drunk driving on May 24th. If convicted, a seventh DWI will require at least two years in prison. This penalty jumps to the mandatory 10 years for an eighth DWI.

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